Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Zani Diabate

  • Zani Diabate and the Super Djata Band [Mango, 1988] A-

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Zani Diabate and the Super Djata Band [Mango, 1988]
What jumps out of the speakers isn't the Malian Jimi of the jacket copy but a groove harsher than Zaire's and more ferocious than Senegal's. There's lots of cheesy keyb in the mix; full-repeat call-and-response and mullah harangues stir up the hectic mood. It's on top of all this that you get the guitar, which sings and declaims and shouts out loud instead of just chiming or chattering. I find the hottest soukous relaxing. I put this on to wake up. A-